Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After almost a year.....

I am finally going to have an oven again! Yep, that's right! I have been without an oven for almost a year now! Actually, the broiler still worked, but the bottom coil was broken. So, I have been baking casseroles in the oven with just a broiler. It has not been easy, either! I had to put foil on the top rack to help diffuse the heat and then I would have to broil things on the low setting and it would take three times as long to cook. I made a breakfast casserole last week and it should take 30 minutes to bake and it ended up taking two hours! Yikes!

But, my dad came through and got the coil and took it to the store and ordered the replacement. Last week he dropped it off and DH put it in the oven. Voila! Heat!

So now, I am so excited to bake again! I have made cookies twice and have been making baked dishes for dinner almost every night! Oh, the small things in life that matter!

Life on Planet Mom

I am part of a MOPS group and this year the theme is "Life on Planet Mom" and we have a great book that corresponds with this theme. I was reading some of it yesterday and the chapter that I happened to read was on your relationship with your spouse. I am sure that it was not a coincidence that I read this chapter this week as my husband and I have been having a lot of disagreements lately about the way that a lot of things work in our relationship. He feels that I don't give enough of my time to him. That I spend my time and energy on the kids and the house and myself and I don't have any leftover for him. Well, this is partially true. I DO spend a lot of my energy on the kids and the house and the bills and the laundry and the planning and the appointments and the shopping and the budget and the and the and the......but where he is wrong is the fact that I spend a lot of time on myself. I honestly feel totally drained by the end of the night and there isn't much left for him. I just want to relax and have no one calling my name or needing me. Of course, I am sure that most married women know that at the end of the night is when your husband is calling you and needing you and grabbing at you, this is the last thing you want. The same thing that you dealt with ALL DAY from your kids. Intimacy can seem like just one more chore! Well, I decided, after reading this chapter in my book, that I needed to really try to make time for my husband and I and intentionally leave some of my time for him. So, last night I thought that I was doing this and guess what......it totally backfired! He didn't think that I was doing enough and I didn't think that he was responding to me. It ended in a big fat argument and both of us going to bed upset. Now, we are going to have to have a long drawn out, frustrating discussion tonight and I am not looking forward to it. I already know what is going to be said and what is going to happen. Ugh! I can only pray that God will help both of us to see and understand the other's point of view. I need to just remember that marriage is a long journey and there are going to be bumps in the road.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Please visit!

Please visit my other blog for homeschooling. It has lots of new info on it about some of our summer adventures. I would love to have more readers!

Homeschool Blog

Interesting Article on Homeschooling....

A friend of mine sent me this article on Homeschooling and Socialization. I am so happy that this has finally been thoroughly researched and comes out in favor of homeschooling parents. Dealing with this concern from family and friends is a big obstacle and this gives me great confidence in the fact that we are doing the right thing for our family!

HOMESCHOOLING: Socialization is not a problem

One of the most persistent criticisms of home-schooling is the accusation that home-schoolers will not be able to fully participate in society because they lack "socialization." It's a challenge that reaches right to the heart of home-schooling, because if a child isn't properly socialized, how will that child be able to contribute to society?

Since the re-emergence of the home-school movement in the late 1970s, critics of home-schooling have perpetuated two myths. The first concerns the ability of parents to adequately teach their own children at home; the second is whether home-schooled children will be well-adjusted socially.

Proving academic success is relatively straightforward. Today, it is accepted that home-schoolers, on average, outperform their public school peers. The most recent study, "Homeschool Progress Report 2009," conducted by Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, surveyed more than 11,000 home-schooled students. It showed that the average home-schooler scored 37 percentile points higher on standardized achievement tests than the public school average.

The second myth, however, is more difficult to address because children who were home-schooled in appreciable numbers in the late 1980s and early 1990s are only now coming of age and in a position to demonstrate they can succeed as adults.

Home-school families across the nation knew criticisms about adequate socialization were ill-founded — they had the evidence right in their own homes. In part to address this question from a research perspective, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned a study in 2003 titled "Homeschooling Grows Up," conducted by Mr. Ray, to discover how home-schoolers were faring as adults. The news was good for home-schooling. In all areas of life, from gaining employment, to being satisfied with their home-schooling, to participating in community activities, to voting, home-schoolers were more active and involved than their public school counterparts.

Until recently, "Homeschooling Grows Up" was the only study that addressed the socialization of home-schooled adults. Now we have a new longitudinal study titled "Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults" from the Canadian Centre for Home Education. This study surveyed home-schooled students whose parents participated in a comprehensive study on home education in 1994. The study compared home-schoolers who are now adults with their peers. The results are astounding.

When measured against the average Canadians ages 15 to 34 years old, home-educated Canadian adults ages 15 to 34 were more socially engaged (69 percent participated in organized activities at least once per week, compared with 48 percent of the comparable population). Average income for home-schoolers also was higher, but perhaps more significantly, while 11 percent of Canadians ages 15 to 34 rely on welfare, there were no cases of government support as the primary source of income for home-schoolers. Home-schoolers also were happier; 67.3 percent described themselves as very happy, compared with 43.8 percent of the comparable population. Almost all of the home-schoolers — 96 percent — thought home-schooling had prepared them well for life.

This new study should cause many critics to rethink their position on the issue of socialization. Not only are home-schoolers actively engaged in civic life, they also are succeeding in all walks of life. Many critics believed, and some parents feared, that home-schoolers would not be able to compete in the job market. But the new study shows home-schoolers are found in a wide variety of professions. Being home-schooled has not closed doors on career choices.

The results are a great encouragement to all home-schooling families and to parents thinking about home-schooling. Home-schoolers, typically identified as being high academic achievers, also can make the grade in society.

Both "Homeschooling Grows Up" and "Fifteen Years Later" amply demonstrate home-school graduates are active, involved, productive citizens. Home-school families are leading the way in Canadian and American education, and this new study clearly demonstrates home-school parents are on the right path.

To read the full study or a synopsis, visit www.hslda.ca/cche.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. He may be contacted at 540/338-5600 or send e-mail to media@hslda.org.